How to celebrate Agriculture Day with a paintbrush (and etching tool)

It was a coincidence (or was it?) that I headed out to Fire Escape (the pottery painting place in Calgary) last Thursday, May 1st.

May 1st also happens to be Labour and Agriculture Day in Haiti.  I’ve been waiting for the right opportunity to pay my tributes to Kouzen Zaca, the patron Iwa of farmers.  His symbol is painted on the underside of the black and white tree-themed dish I painted.  Enjoy some of the following creative process via photos.


(1) dividing the piece into 8 pieces; drawing with pencil first (which comes off in the kiln so no erasing required !).  Most of my design is complete before applying black paint.  Inspiration came from this stock image.



(2) Using strips of masking tape means I’ll get straight lines when painting my black sections over.  Once the paint is dry you pull of the tape to reveal perfect lines underneath. A quick photo of my own pencil sketches before painting over with black means I’ll have a reference for  what I later need to etch out in the paint.



(3) Etching tool lies next to the complete piece. Before burning in the kiln and getting it’s glaze, the black paint appears grey.


(4) The completed piece! Loving the blend from skewed painted lines to etching in the black paint and back again. 8 sections, 2 colours, 2 trees intertwining and the continuous whole represented. Where does it start and end? Even I couldn’t tell you 🙂



(5) and the underside bears Papa Zaca’s symbol


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